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Letter from Europe: Charlie's Labels
The Paris terror attacks also took the lives of France's most outrageous wine label designers
This past week, the words "Je suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie") have traveled the world in sympathy with the victims of the deadly jihadist terrorist attack on the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, for which Al Qaeda in Yemen is now claiming responsibility.
Among the slain were five of France's most celebrated cartoonists. Three of them were also among the country's most outrageous wine label designers.
"They were my friends," explains Bordeaux winemaker Gérard Descrambe, 65. For more than 40 years, Descrambe commissioned Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and others to make eye-catching labels that varied from drunken to suggestive to sexually explicit humor. "Their spirit was to laugh at everything and expose the biggest bullshit in the world. And they were killed by the biggest act of bullshit."
The cartoonists' careers as label designers began in the early 1970s, when Descrambe and his brother, Christian, took over from their father at Château Barrail des Graves, in the St.-Emilion appellation.....
See the Video Trailer for PALMENTO on You Tube....
Robert reads from and discusses Palmento at McNally Jackson books in NY Sept. 2010.
Robert on radio